Bringing a bundle of joy home is an exciting and overwhelming season in any parent’s life. Those first few months are often filled with expectation and wonder, yet the joy of this season may become overshadowed by our own fears and doubts.
Are we doing a good job?
Are we providing all that our child needs?
Take heart, dear soul. Sometimes we simply need to sit back and enjoy the present.
Here’s what I think you need to know, from one parent to another…
1. You are enough!
Let no-one undermine or question your worth. You are valued, you are worthy, and you are more than capable of raising a remarkable child. You are enough for that sweet little one.
2. You are all your baby needs.
The shops may be lined with stimulation toys and baby accessories. Everyone has an opinion on what are the must haves and what you should do with your babe. However, in those first few months, you are all that your infant needs to thrive and grow. Be present and invested and watch your child flourish.
3. It’s not selfish to take time out.
Sure, your babe needs you... but you need you too. Self care is so important, especially when raising little ones. Don’t feel guilty if you need to take time out to clear your head and look after yourself. Sometimes in order to be the best version of yourself – for you and your child. you need some time to decompress, reset and rest.
4. Find peace and remember to breathe.
We can quickly become stressed and unsettled when we’re wholeheartedly invested in a new baby, but it’s important to embrace those quiet moments to simply breathe and find tranquility in our everyday routines or even in the chaos. Sometimes you need to step out to collect yourself and go back in. Remember... babies feel your vibes and feed off of them. (Check out Insight Timer for some great breathing meditations to help you take a time out).
5. Follow your gut.
Learn to rely on your parental instinct. Every person in this world has an opinion about your babe. But your intuition is a powerful thing. When in doubt, follow it.
6. It’s okay to ask for help.
You don’t have to do it all alone. Remember, it takes a village to raise a child. Do not be afraid or too prideful to ask for help where you need it.
Also in another aspect if you feel "different" or "off" after having your little babe, do not be afraid to talk to your doctor. Postpartum depression is a sneaky little beast and your body just went through a big change. It can come in many different forms and variations including anger, sadness, detachment, depression, anxiety and more. Seek medical attention if you have any of those feelings. And do not be afraid to seek alternative doctors if yours is not being helpful.
7. Choose joy over worry.
We can choose to become anxious about every single detail that may impact our children. Or we can choose what is the most important things to focus on and what we can let slide. Say no to anxiety where and when you can. Replace negative with positive thoughts. Make an argument for happiness.
Elisabeth Ashliegh Gelhar